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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 4, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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on the broadcast tonight, photo negative. president obama will not release photos of the dead osama bin laden and says, quote, we don't trot this stuff out as trophies. tonight we'll have the reaction. inside the hideout. from our kraucorrespondent at t bin laden compound. what it's like there and the man who told the world about the raid in progress before he knew what he was witnesses. >> mississippi rising? it's a problem in the flood zone and they're bracing for more rain. tonight, far from home. an american, an infantryman, trying to keep law and order in
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one of the most dangerous places on earth. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. the president has made his decision. the united states will not release photos showing osama bin laden after death. the white house knows this will mean no proof of death, and that's already fueling doubts and rumors and conspiracy theories, but the president said he has his reasons. he made them clear today. at the same time, all of the americans in uniform who were on the successful high-stakes raid are now being debriefed as they tell their version of what happened in the compound behind the high walls, the story of bin laden's death continues to change around the edges. we want to start off tonight at the white house with our chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. hoping to shut down what was becoming a divisive debate, the
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president decided national security concerns in deciding against releasing the dead bin laden photos. honoring wounded warriors at the white house, he praised u.s. forces for taking out osama bin laden. >> thanks to the courage and predecisionen of the forces, the terrorists learned that america does not forget. america will insure that justice is done. >> but for those who want to see the evidence of that justice, they'll have to wait. press secretary jay carney quotes the president from an interview with cbs today. it's important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement of additional violence of a propaganda tool. that's not who we are. we do not trot this stuff out for trophies. >> cia director leon panetta
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said this to brian williams yesterday. >> we got bin laden, and i think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him. >> there's also division on capitol hill. >> my opinion is it's not necessary to do so. >> reporter: and no shortage of opinion loin wheonline where ne stirred the pot on the page. it goes to credibility. here in the middle east, the internet is buzzing with doubt, and so are the newspaper headlines. there are facebrook groups popping up as well with names like osama bin laden is not dead. all of this just in the last couple of days. and for some back home, an argument to release those photos. osama bin laden has been a phantom for a decade, and i think not releasing that photo allows him to remain a phantom. >> reporter: three people who
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said they saw the photos yesterday are backing off the claim. i can tell you this, administration sources tell me no senator has been shown a photo so far. >> chuck todd starting us off at the white house. thanks. we heard a bit of this, but the larger question, how is president obama's decision being received tonight in the wider muslim world. our chief foreign correspondent richard engle has been reporting on this question today. with us from benghazi in love ye libya, richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. this is a very difficult decision. if the photographs were released very quickly, they would be used for propaganda purposes. they would become the wallpaper on cell phones and laptops of any would-be militant across the region, but the u.s. does haa tradition of trotting out these dutritions. when saddam hussein's sons were killed by the military, they released those graphic images
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and when abu asob zukari was killed, his picture was blown up poeszer-sized and presented at a press conference. because it's not happening this time, there's quite a bit of doubt on the internet and on the streets. >> richard engle in benghazi, liyeah. let's go to the scene of the raid in pakistan where high level officials arrived at the compound north of islamabad. tonight, there are more pictures from inside the hideout where the s.e.a.l.s made the raid that killed osama bin laden. stephanie gosk is there for us tonight. >> reporter: a look inside the hideout. ransacked and definitely lot luxurious. everyday belongings mixed in with the aftermath of a bloody struggle, including a yemeni passport apparently belonging to
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bin laden's fifth and youngest wife. this video was shot not long after the precision assault sunday by u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s. what happened in this house that night and the years leading up to it has captivated the world and shocked the people who actually live here. today, a homeowner next door briefly gave access to his ro p roofptop. dozens of neighbors climbed up, eager to see what they could. this is one of the best views we have had of the compound. the house is large, but really, in comparison to the other houses in the neighborhood, it's not that big. there's a rumor that security forces are eventually going to destroy it. residents are sharing what they rer78 of two brothers, owners of the house. they used to come to these small shops buying milk and pepsi, often in bulk. we now know one of them was the infamous courier faollowed for years. this man remembered seeing the brothers in town but never the
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wives. >> did the women ever and out of the house? >> no, no women. you don't see here the women. >> reporter: many people here don't believe bin laden was killed. they don't even believe he was here. does anyone here believe that osama bin laden was in that house? nobody? overhead today, helicopters flew by. not a rare sight in a military town, but when they heard the sound of choppers late sunday night, it didn't sound right. he started tweeting, having no idea what was really happening. helicopter hof eer hovering ov aboughta bod at 1:00 a.m. is a rare event. go away. i hope it's not the start of something nasty. he wads the only person reporting the capture of bin laden as it happened. how many followers did you have on twitter on that moment? >> almost 800, 900. >> now how many do you have? >> more than 100,000. >> reporter: an instant internet celebrity who moved his family
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here from lahore last year to escape the terrorists. >> i came here to escape all the bombings and now i find myself living in the same town as him. >> a small town once far removed from the fight on terrorism. now the site of one of its most important battles. nbc news pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski reports that u.s. officials are providing a clearing picture of the firefight that happened here. it wasn't an intense back and  forth but mostly one-sided. mostly the s.e.a.l.s doing the shooting. a proscission-clearing operation. >> we wanted to let you know as well, ann curry has now tonight arrived in pakistan. her reporting will begin airing tomorrow morning on "today." back here at home tonight, flooding in the midwest is at such crisis levels, it's led to some extreme measures. as we told you last night,
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government engineers are actually blowing up levees to direct water away from inundated areas, and some areas of population, but that's causing more problems downstream, and there are big fears for places like memphis in the days ahead. ron mott is there for us tonight. good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you. officials in arkansas today discovered the body of a man in floodwaters there. in memphis, the mississippi is expected to crest next wednesday. it will be the highest water level here in nearly 75 year said. the milsz miss is earning her mighty nickname, the spring. prompting the army corps of engineers to blow up levees to minimize flooding. >> i never dreamed it would actually help us. >> still, neighborhoods in kentucky and elsewhere are filling up with water, stranding people and pets, forcing evacuations, catching some motorists like this 93-year-old driver off guard. >> public safety is the number
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one issue when we make our decisions. >> more than 130,000 acres of missouri farmland were intentionally flooded. farmers are furious. >> i guess they got the last nevers i have left. >> the old mississippi river gets on a rampage every now and then. >> reporter: one expert said the corps made the right call. >> it's the worst one we have ever had. our job now is to get the water to the gulf of mexico with the least amount of damage to anybody and get it down as fast as we can. >> reporter: the flood zone is anticipated to overtop banks in spots along the river's bank with 11 locations in six states recording new record crests. today in memphis, workers finished sandbagging outside a school downtown, a full week ahead of a projected 48-foot water crest, roughly 14 feet above flood stage. >> we're going to be okay. it's the people in the greenville area, helena, all the way down it's going to be
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serious. >> reporter: genie has watched water steadily creep toward her cottage -- >> do you have flood insurance. >> no, we don't. >> turning thursday into moving day. >> this will all be under water in a couple days. >> reporter: she expects to return to a mess. tonight the army corps of engineers is expected to detonate the third and final opening in the levee, and record flooding will continue through the weekend as the river levels rise over the next 7 to 10 days. >> we'll watch it in the days ahead. ron mott in memphis for us tonight. thanks. and remember, it was a week ago tonight that the massive storm system brought record tornado outbreaks to the south? good evening. >> reporter: brian, the death toll across seven states now stands at 328. 236 in alabama alone.
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search and recovery teams are just getting into the remote, hard-hit areas today. they're digging through huge debris piles looking for the missing. the governor here estimates that damages could get as high as $5 billion. more than 800 people are living in shelters and thousands more are living with family or friends. despite all that, they're trying to get back to normal. most schools have reopened, and we visited one today. a lot of the kids say they're happy to be back and happier to see their friends are safe and alive. >> in tuscaloosa, thanks for that update. when we come back here this ieskening, tonight, our cameras go back to japan. eight weeks since the skwak, and what might surprise you tonight about the pace of recovery there. and later, our series on americans serving their country far from home. tonight, what the job is like these days in afghanistan. [ male announcer ] those with frequent heartburn imagine a day free of worry, a day when we can eat what we want, drink what we want,
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overshadowed by the sheer volume of news over the past few weeks. it's now almost been two months since northeast japan was hit by the massive 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami that followed, leaving more than 25,000 dead or missing. tonight, nbc's ian williams has returned to the disaster zone where survivors are becoming increasingly frustrated. >> reporter: spring has come to northeast japan, and the search for bodies goes on under the cherry blaudzms. nearly 11,000 people are still missing. this woman's sister is among them. she still scoured the rubble of the city. we try to act strong, she told me, but i can't sleep at night. more than 120,000 people still live in refugee centers. the resilience of survivors giving way to growing frustration. this woman still lives in her car. people are stressed and tired,
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she told me, waits for promised temporary homes and for the debris to be searched. officials are looking for higher ground to rebuild and being sentative in searching the rubble. >> they need to take care, and it takes much time to do that. >> reporter: collecting photographs, a quarter million memories recovered in ocsuchy alone. >> this is only what they got now. >> reporter: there are 25 million townsmen and not a plan for getting rid of it. not every ship was marooned quite as dramatically, but 90% of the fishing fleet is wiped out. it's not all despair. among the survivors, this 85-year-old is an inspiration. she's her town's last geisha and has lived through four tsunamis. she's determined to perform again. i'm not going to let something like this bring me down, she told me. another boost, the bullet train
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is running again. though the landscape it passes serves as a reminder of the huge task that still lies ahead. ian williams, nbc news, in northeast japan. another break here tonight, when we come back, the news tonight of the death of a hollywood veteran. nighttime nasal congestion meant, i couldn't breathe right. i couldn't sleep right. next day it took forever to get going. night after night, i sat up. sprayed up. took a shower... or took a pill. then i tried drug-free breathe right advanced. and instantly, i breathed better! i slept better. it felt...better. thank you, breathe right! [ male announcer ] breathe better, sleep better, feel better. try breathe right advanced for free... at [ woman ] it's my right to breathe right. isn't it your right, too?
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nominated for an oscar at 9 years old. that makes him the youngest in history. at the time, he was making $50 a week. he was perry white in superman. he won emmys for his work in m.a.s.h. and the white shadow on tv. he was credited with bewitched and reportedly cast sally field as gidget. he was 88 years old. a rare sight in washington. the prince of whaales and the president of the united states. prince charles is attending a conference on the environment in d.c. the president invited him to the white house today. and great details from the wedding last friday. you have to look closely at the picture to see it. she's 3 years old, she's eliza lopez. she's camilla's granddaughter, cute as a bug. the story is about what she's
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holding, a toy wiggly worm by harry. he had anticipated some of the little ones might be a little overwhelmed by the day. she was until he pulled the small present out of his koetd. if you have kids, you know it's all the gifts that cost about $1 or less that sometimes become the instant favorites. she refused to part with it all day long, so the wiggly worm is now recorded and officially reserved in the photographic record of the day. officials at the alaska zoo are looking for a home for a 4-month-old 17-pound polar bear cub rescued from the north slope oil field last month. the cub was either orphaned or separated from her mother. underweight, stressed out when they first found her. she's in good shape right now, on a diet of puppy milk formula and heavy whipped cream. don't try that at home. the problem is the anchorage zoo already has two polar bears. they just don't have room to
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dispatch from our men on the ground in afghanistan, jim maceda, who volunteered to spend an extraordinary amount of time with some of the americans who volunteered to serve in uniform in an unforgiving place, far from home and family. one of the questions, of course, front and center, after the death of bin laden, is how long these men and women will need to stay on the job here. tonight, jim introduces us to a cop on the beat in one of the most dangerous cities anywhere. >> reporter: walking a beat in downtown kandahar city, there are few potholes or gutters here that military police captain andy sergeant and his men. >> have you seen any insurgents or talupon coming through here today? >> reporter: the sergeant's main job is to keep law and order in afghanistan's most dangerous city. >> if you're searching somebody and he has a pistol -- >> reporter: by making sure that
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the afghan police do their job. >> we'll hit here, we'll hit here. >> reporter: that they stay awake and alert around the clock. >> could be taliban walking up, so it's important he challenges us before we get too close to his position. tonight's going to be a long night. >> reporter: which means this 33-year-old from delaware, ohio, is always on the go. >> very busy. >> reporter: grabbing cat naps when he can, living on army coffee and power bars, with no time to work out. that's a recipe for disaster. how do you deal with that? >> there's -- i guess the standard answer is, you just have to. >> he's a normal, average, everyday american who wants to do the right thing. >> from pee-wee baseball, to graduating on the gi bill, down to his candy, he's a die-hard buck yis fan, but the second deployment in afghanistan for the devout family man has meant another year away from wife
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erica and their three daughters in ft. lewis, washington. >> i'll miss all four daughters, all three of my daughters' birthdays and my wife' birthday. >> he did try to time this call to catch his middle daughter sierra to wish her a happy birthday, but he just missed her. >> those mean a lot, those mean a lot. my daughter sierra is only going to turn 12 once. >> reporter: but the sacrifice, he says, does pay off. >> they're going do bring chalkboards, pencils, pens, paper, crayons. >> just providing for the simple needs of this afghan school in his sector is enough to inspire the sergeant to do more. >> you want a better life. and if it's a couple hours of sleep i miss for each night, for the next year, it's a small price to pay. another day in paradise. take it. >> thank you.
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>> share with him. >> reporter: even if that means being far from those he loves most. jim maceda, nbc news, kandahar. please keep all of them in your thoughts today and always. that's our broadcast for this wednesday night. i'm brian williams and we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good evening.


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